Visual Arts Program

Digital Portfolios are due Feb 1, 2021

This is what a Digital Portfolio might look like: Sample Digital Portfolio for AC Visual Arts

recording of December 1st

Visual Arts General Info Session

Go to APPLY NOW to apply and click on FORMS to ensure all documents are included in your application.

digital Portfolio Requirements

Due Feb 1, 2021

This year all portfolios will be in the format of Google Slides or Powerpoint documents submitted by email to Physical copies of your portfolio will not be accepted. If you need help, click on How to use Google Slides or How to Create a PowerPoint: for instructions.

The Visual Arts audition process for 2021-2022 will be different due to COVID-19 safety concerns. There is no live group workshop component this year.

We are committed to providing a safe and equitable process, while streamlining the requirements.

Applicants submit a short video introduction (OR if recording a video is an obstacle, candidates may choose a virtual interview in its place) and a digital portfolio of their artwork.

The Visual Arts Audition consists of TWO components:

  1. A VIDEO INTRODUCTION -OR- VIRTUAL INTERVIEW (applicants may choose between a brief (1-2 MINUTE) recorded video introduction OR schedule a Google Meet/virtual interview.)

If recording a video is not possible, candidates may request a virtual interview INSTEAD of the video introduction by using this form:

  1. A DIGITAL PORTFOLIO of artwork (Detailed instructions follow)

DIGITAL PORTFOLIO of 6-8 slides - Checklist:

(Google Slide or PowerPoint; expanded instructions follow)

  • ON EACH SLIDE: IMAGE of the artwork + TEXT BOX with a brief explanation of the image/approx. time spent indicated

This is what a Digital Portfolio might look like: Sample Portfolio Grade 9 AC VA

Slide #1- Your FULL NAME and inserted Video Introduction (uploading/insert instructions below) ***If you are not able to record a video introduction, be sure you have booked a virtual interview in its place/link above.***

Slide #2 - Still Life in Colour (1.5 - 2 hours work), text box with a brief explanation of the image/approx. time spent

Slide #3 - Self-Portrait in Black & White (pencil or charcoal/1.5 -2 hours work) text box with a brief explanation of the image/approx. time spent

Slide #4 - Sculpture (1.5 -2 hours) text box with a brief explanation of the image/approx.... time spent

Slide #5 - Personal Choice Piece, any media, text box with a brief explanation of the image/approx. time spent (this could also be artwork done at school in the past 2 years)

Slides #6-8 - up to 3 slides of sketchbook or planning pages. Please title/label if they relate to other artwork contained in the portfolio



Slide #1- Video Introduction - 1-2 minutes

***If you are not making a video introduction, be sure you have requested a virtual interview in its place AND please note your requested interview time on this page***

Format: Your video can be filmed using a phone, iPad or computer that has a camera, video and recording option.

In the text box: your FULL NAME

Insert Video (tutorials below)

Please address the following questions in your video OR virtual interview:

1. Who are you ? (introduce yourself)

2. What school are you currently attending; what school you might be attending in grade 9? (if you are in an upper grade, mention what grade you are applying for)

3. Besides wanting to improve your artistic skills, how do you think an arts focused curriculum can benefit you? Why do you NEED to be in an enriched arts environment? How will you handle the extra work required?

4. How did you hear about our program? Did someone encourage you to audition? If so, who was that person? (a teacher, guidance counsellor, family member, friend) Did you take a Portfolio prep course (you are not expected to!) or training outside of school? If so, where?

5. What are you most looking forward to from your high school experience and why? What other things do you do with your time? (reading, sports)

6. What kinds of art or images do you most enjoy making on your own? i.e. Do you prefer to draw people, places, animals or objects? Why? Of the pieces you submitted, which is your favourite and why?

7. Any other additional information you want us to know about you.

Tips: Please make sure we can see you; check your lighting and video quality before recording. Your video can be to the point or as inventive as you wish. You can be direct, you can be funny, you can be serious, but keep it simple. Be yourself. We are excited to meet you!


Slide #2 - Still Life in Colour: Arrange four or five different items (natural forms such as fruits and vegetables and man-made objects such as a vase/teapot) on a draped cloth background. Use forms of differing size, shape, colour, and texture (they do not need to be dramatically different)

Overlap items to consider/compare their form and tone, as well as the overall arrangement

Light your still life from one side to emphasize contrast between light and dark

So that your work can be life-size or larger, we ask that you work on a paper APPROXIMATELY 16 x 20 inches leaving a blank (approx. 2 inch border)

Materials: pencil crayon, chalk or oil pastel, or another dry colour media of your choice

Slide #3 - Self-Portrait in Black & White: Draw a self-portrait (head and shoulders) in pencil or charcoal from direct observation in a mirror. Emphasize the contrast between light and dark, by lighting from one side.

Do not draw from a photograph.

So that your work can be life-size or larger, we ask that you work on a paper APPROXIMATELY from 10X 12 min to 16 x 20 inches max. A border is optional.

Materials: pencil or charcoal on paper

Slide #4 - Sculpture: Create a sculpture. This three-dimensional form should be interesting from all angles. Include at least 2 views of the work on this slide.

Suggested materials: paper, clay, papier-mâché, wire, wood, fabric

Slide #5 - Personal Choice Piece, any media: Candidates are asked to include an existing artwork OR create a new piece that they feel best reflects their interests, artistic ability and creativity. This piece can be of any subject matter and created through drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, sewing, mixed media, digital work etc. This piece could have been created recently or within the last two years and could also be work created at school.

In text box: What the piece is, what medium was used and why it was included in the portfolio/how it best reflects you/your skills

You could also include images of your process and/or planning on slides #6 to 8.

Slides #6 to 8 - Sketchbook/Planning Pages: Show us some of your planning and rough work. These slides can include sketchbook/loose pages containing the planning of ideas and preliminary sketches/drawings, paintings, designs, photographs, material/method experiments, and written notes. You could include rough sketches relating to the required pieces in slides 2-5.


Once you have completed your video you can do the following:

OCDSB Students

1. Transfer your video to your Google Drive.

2. In your Google Slides, choose Insert, then Insert Video, then choose your saved video

from your Google Drive.

Your video should be on the first slide of your Google Slides.

Non OCDSB Students

Submitting your portfolio through email:

1. Email your slideshow as attachments to

2. Email your video to

Submitting the PORTFOLIO:

OCDSB candidates submit everything using Google Slides and be sure to name the Slides with the applicant’s first and last name.

Non-OCDSB Candidates must submit their Digital Portfolio as an attachment with the applicant’s first and last name in the subject line.

AUTHENTICITY We trust that all works included in the portfolio have been conceived by and completed from start to finish by the candidate and the candidate only. Please do not add additional artwork to this portfolio.

Program Details

The Visual Arts Program develops students' technical and creative abilities. Students are instructed in a wide range of studio disciplines.


Students develop classical and experimental drawing skills through exercises in perspective studies, still life studies, life drawing and technical drawings. Students maintain a sketchbook used in the design and planning of all artwork.


Students are introduced to relief and intaglio printmaking processes. Students undertake the entire printmaking process from the creation of the plate to the final print. A specialized, purpose-built printmaking studio allows students a unique studio experience.


Students are introduced to traditional and mixed media painting methodologies, using a variety of water-based media. Students develop and integrate personal imagery into their work.


Students are introduced to the medium of digital photography. Beginning with an understanding of the basic operations of a digital camera, students explore photographic history, techniques, aesthetics, and practice.


Students develop hand building and wheel-throwing skills, as well as a range of surface decoration, glazing, and finishing techniques. Students produce both functional and sculptural forms, and a range of other sculptural inquiries.

Art History

Students study Western and non-Western art history. Students develop their understanding of art history and use this knowledge to develop a context for their own work.

Art Exhibits

In the course of their art studies at Canterbury, Visual Arts students are given the opportunity to display their work. The school lobby houses a large gallery with showcases and wall displays of student paintings, drawings, prints, photos, ceramics and sculptures.